When we talk about the “inside-out” nature of our experience I often imagine there are those of you who respond with “except in my situation.” That’s such an understandable response and one that we’ve all shared at one time or another. Because life feels as if it’s happening to us, from the outside in so much of the time, it’s easy to understand how, especially in adversity, we feel at the mercy of outside events. We may feel like victims in the face of what seems like unfair circumstances.
I had a conversation recently with a family member who’s also sometimes puzzled by those moments when life seems to be happening to us. What we came to was the realization that, regardless of how unfair life may seem at times, we always have the capacity to choose our response. We’re always the thinkers.
So in this column I’d like to talk about those times and events when it seems most difficult to recognize that we are, in fact, the thinkers and the creators of our moment to moment experiences and that we have within us a resiliency and wisdom that’s always there for us.
Life is, as they say, a contact sport. Random events, over which we seem to have little or no control, may appear, as if out of nowhere, leaving us reeling. We’ll all be on the receiving end of ups and downs throughout our lives. There may be events for which there are no answers and no ways of making sense of them. One needs only turn on the news to be confronted with unimaginable events somewhere in the world. Still, there’s the simple yet profound truth that we have innate health, a source of wisdom, common sense, compassion and forgiveness.
We have the gift of insight, the ability to see how our state of mind determines what we think and as a result what we feel. We have, too, the capacity to recognize that we have choice. We can decide whether to take each thought seriously and do battle with it or instead to softly let it go. This doesn’t mean we won’t feel grief or pain. It does mean, however, that we’ll recognize the feelings for what they are — direct products of our thinking.
We’ll recognize that as our thinking changes so does our mood or state of mind. We can then have the insight that life truly is an inside out experience.
The gift of innate health applies to all of us all of the time. We may feel that it’s eluding us or failing us from time to time but the truth is that it’s always only an aha away.